Halliburton Co.’s “unfixable” plan to merge with Baker Hughes Inc. finally collapsed under the weight of worldwide antitrust opposition.
The duo called off their $28 billion deal on Sunday after more than a year trying to get approval from regulators in the U.S., European Union, Brazil and Australia. The companies ultimately failed to overcome concerns shared by watchdogs the world over that the deal would reduce choice in oilfield services, ultimately running a risk of higher oil and gas prices for consumers.
Halliburton announced the Baker Hughes takeover in November 2014 in a bid to better compete against industry leader Schlumberger Ltd. But as the tussle for regulatory approval turned into a war of attrition, shares of Halliburton and Baker Hughes declined amid the worst oil slump in a generation, reducing the deal’s value from $34.6 billion when it was announced.